Merrick Road, Massapequa, Oyster Bay, Nassau County, NY
Take the Long Island Expressway to exit #44 south (NY 135/Seaford- Oyster Bay Expressway). Go south on the expressway for 9.8 miles to exit #1E (Merrick Road/Amityville). Go east on Merrick Road for 1.4 miles. The park is on the left (north) side of the road. Parking is anywhere on Parkside Boulevard or Lake Shore Drive.
This is a linear park squeezed between Merrick Road (Route 27A) on the south and the Southern State Parkway (on the north); Ocean Avenue/Parkside Boulevard on the west and Lake Shore Drive on the east.
This preserve consists of freshwater wetlands, red maple swamps, streams, a dry woodland area of oak and red maple trees, and possibly the best pine barrens in Nassau County.
This has three sections:
southern (Merrick Road to Sunrise Highway)
central (to Clark Boulevard)
northern (to Linden Street)
Walk from Massapequa Lake at Merrick Road following the white-blazed Nassau-Suffolk Greenbelt Trail north to Sunrise Highway and on to Clark Boulevard. From here the western choice keeps you on the Greenbelt and the east side has a bicycle path nearly up to Linden Street.
Off-Road Vehicle Damage. An article from the February 4, 2000 edition of the on-line Massapequan Observer by Andrea Morale reported lots of trail damage by off-road vehicles.
The use of ATVs at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour has affected about a mile and a half of the preserve causing the widening of two previously narrow foot trails and destroying part of the Greenbelt trail. ATVs kill trees and causes erosion. What often happens is when one rider gets in, it encourages others to follow, and soon you have a little mini-race track.
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Drosera spp. (sundews)
Hibiscus moscheutos (swamp rose mallow)
Isotria sp. (whorled pogonia)
Cyperus flavescens (yellow flat sedge) found by Skip Blanchard (LIBS Newsletter, Jan-March 2002)